Virtual Internships was founded in 2018 with the goal of reducing or removing various barriers to in-person internships. As such, we are delighted to be partnering with Mencap, a leading UK charity for people with learning disabilities, to deliver an innovative joint virtual internship program.
Studies indicate that around 15% of the UK population is estimated to be neurodivergent. Many workplaces are taking active steps to increase their accessibility and understanding of individuals who are neuro-diverse, but there is still work to be done. A 2017 study revealed that just 16% of autistic individuals in the UK are in full-time employment, despite 77% of unemployed autistic individuals wanting to work.
Participating host companies in the program will receive additional support and guidance on suitable roles and tasks for participants placed with their organisation. Learners will also receive additional support jointly from Mencap and Virtual Internships to ensure that they get the best possible outcomes from the program.
We will be holding an information session delivered by Mencap for host organizations, which will deliver useful tips and advice for tailoring internship roles and making them more accessible for students with learning disabilities. The core themes of the sessions will cover:
- Understanding various learning disabilities
- The organizational benefits of employing people with learning disabilities
- How to make your recruitment process more accessible
- Available support and communication tips
Host organizations who are interested in hosting a candidate with learning difficulties are invited to join one of two information sessions – Tuesday 6th of April, 2 pm BST, or Wednesday 10th of April at 10 am BST.
Supervisors at potential host companies who would be interested in hosting students on this program should get in touch with Andrea McWilliam, Head of Innovative Partnerships, via email – [email protected]